Transforming Bank Branch and Office Networks with Mitel

4 min read

George Despinic | May 16, 2023

To compete effectively with financial technology companies, or fintechs, banks and credit unions are transforming their two most powerful customer engagement resources: contact centers and branch and office networks.

We already touched on how Mitel Financial Services Solutions reinvented contact centers to elevate the customer experience, empower employees, and meet challenging management expectations. Now we will focus on how banks and credit unions can transform their branches and offices to provide customers with next-generation personalized service and guidance.

The Financially Empowered Customer

Today, consumers find themselves in uncertain and unnerving economic times: unpredictable inflation, frequent rate changes, recession rumors, rapid fluctuations in investment portfolios, etc. As they struggle to manage their finances today, they know they’ll also need to contend with financial challenges in the future — obtaining mortgages, sending kids to college, saving for retirement, and funding their retirements over time — all in an environment of constant change. The financial services resource that can empower them with the best personal guidance to navigate these challenges will win their banking business.

Banks and credit unions want to be that resource. They have the advantage of customer proximity via vast branch networks. To capitalize on that advantage, however, they must seamlessly integrate their branch operations and office functions to build and maintain a proactive, holistic financial relationship with each customer that spans banking, lending, and wealth management.

Unfortunately, a significant gap exists today between what customers want and the service they receive from their banks and credit unions. According to a Salesforce survey, just 11% of customers agree that their banking institutions anticipate their financial needs. Only 16% agreed that financial services providers are invested in their financial well-being, and 18% agreed that they receive the assistance they need from a banking staff member.

To close this gap, branches must evolve from service transaction centers to comprehensive financial services guidance hubs.

How to Get to the Bank of the Future

Today, branch bankers focus most of their time on branch operations and meeting current customer needs. They spend about 30% of their time on risk and regulation compliance, 40% on customer service, and 30% on sales and customer needs identification. Lending managers and wealth management specialists often work in separate office locations, focused on their workflows.

How Branch Managers Spend Their Time Today

But by 2026, most branches will have evolved into guidance hubs — helping customers meet various financial needs. The branch banker’s role will significantly evolve. Seventy percent of today’s traditional administrative branch banker tasks will have been automated. They’ll be empowered with new skills and technology to support the development of personal and holistic financial relationships with customers. They’ll dedicate 50% of their time to customer financial empowerment support, 20% to customer context discovery, and 30% to ethical risk management.

How Branch Managers Will Spend Their Time in 2026

Lending managers and wealth management specialist roles will also evolve. They’ll play an essential role in guidance delivery by being accessible to branch managers and their customers continuously.

For branch and office operations to evolve to this guidance-delivery model within three years will be an ambitious endeavor. But banks also need to eliminate operational inefficiencies, increase sales of new banking products, improve risk management, and fulfill security and regulatory compliance requirements. Accomplishing all these goals simultaneously will require that employees conquer steep learning curves and be supported by process automation on a large scale.

Mitel Financial Services Solutions can help banks achieve this vision by supporting branch and office transformation and employee empowerment.

Offloading Branch Staff by Automating Low-value, Manual Tasks

To make room for new, value-added activities, branch staff must offload other tasks while maintaining the quality of customer service. Mitel can help banks automate these three functions to deliver exceptional service while optimizing employee productivity.

1. Customer Self-service

Banking customers want to consume experiences when they want them, where they want them, and how they want them. They want to communicate with their branch, loan, and wealth managers quickly and easily on their preferred channel. Mitel’s suite of omnichannel CX solutions enables advanced self-service capabilities that allow bank customers to access banking services and support from anywhere.

Customers can use a phone, email, SMS, Web chat, social media, and more in self-service and human-assisted service modes. And Mitel also lets banks add AI-powered self-service chat/voice capabilities that can quickly answer their questions and introduce new products or services to help jumpstart sales.

2. Phone Call Centralization

Banks can also offload branch employees responsible for responding to phone inquiries by sending the calls that would traditionally go to branch offices to the bank contact center. This provides phone customers with fast access to highly trained agents who have all the details of the products and services offered by the branch that the customer is calling, allowing branch staff the time to serve in-person customers with more personalized care.

3. Streamlined Branch Operations

Once in a branch, customers expect to be served promptly. For customers that don’t want to wait for the next staff member, Mitel can enable self-service capabilities on in-branch ATM and ITM devices, including the ability to speak to a service specialist via video.

young couple with banker

Delivering Personalized Experiences that Generate Revenue and Build Loyalty

Mitel can help make every interaction with branch and office personnel more personalized and effective:

Uniting Customer Intelligence and Powerful Communications

Mitel can help increase the courtesy and helpfulness of branch staff by integrating our communications solutions with the bank’s CRM systems and applications like Jack Henry and Fiserv. The combination empowers employees with customer intelligence and personalized service recommendations. For instance, a screen pops up on the employee’s desktop with crucial customer information that can help the employee solve a particular issue or recommend a product that the customer might be interested in. The integrations also streamline the account opening and onboarding process.

Providing Prompt, Holistic Service

To become the guidance hub for a wide range of financial services, branch staff must collaborate with other bank employees to solve problems and easily connect with lending and wealth management specialists. Mitel provides the communications and collaboration foundation they need.

Mitel Financial Services Solutions make it easy for branch personnel to communicate with anyone, anywhere. Mitel unified communications platforms integrate with an extensive range of desk phones, softphones, and wireless devices. Branch staff can easily see which experts are available and instantly collaborate to resolve complex issues.

Financial discussions are often time-sensitive, so timely communications are a must. Branch managers, loan specialists, and wealth management experts need to be accessible from anywhere. Mitel’s MiCollab application can reside on an employee’s laptop and mobile phone. So, if a branch manager wants to contact a specialist, they can simultaneously use MiCollab to notify that employee on every device. When the specialist responds, MiCollab makes it easy to share customer information in an instant video meeting. And, if the meeting involves a wealth management or investment discussion that should be recorded for compliance reasons, MiCollab Meetings can initiate the recording with the click of a button.

Protecting Customers, Employees, and Assets

Branches hold large sums of cash, so they must be kept secure. Mitel offers solutions that support a safe and secure environment for staff and customers. Mitel’s intruder and alarm management solutions enable emergency dispatch via integrated panic buttons or custom phone extensions to quickly alert office security when a situation occurs. Mitel mass notification systems can rapidly communicate status, evacuation procedures, contingency plans, and other critical information.

Deployment Flexibility Improves Governance, Security, and the Bottom Line

Mitel Financial Services Solutions offer unprecedented deployment flexibility, ensuring banks can choose the best option to deliver secure, reliable, and continuous service while meeting the data security requirements of each country and the unique needs of branches in remote locations.

Mitel communications platforms, collaboration, and contact center apps are flexible enough to be deployed on-prem, in a private cloud, or the public cloud as a dedicated instance for optimal security. And Mitel’s flexible deployment and procurement options allow banks and credit unions to choose the most cost-effective option for their business — maximizing employee productivity and reducing operating expenses.

Start Your Journey to the Bank of the Future, Today

The vision of the bank of the future will only become a reality by developing a step-by-step plan. Mitel partners can work with you to implement and integrate the comprehensive communications foundation you need to transform your contact centers, branches, and offices to deliver the personalized, guidance-driven model that customers demand. That’s why more than 11,000 banks and credit unions worldwide trust Mitel Financial Services Solutions in their regulated environments. There’s no better time to begin your journey. Get started today!

Categories: Industries, Product News

George DespinicSenior Product Marketing Manager – Contact Center

George is a 33-year veteran of the communication and contact center industries. He's worked at Nortel, Unify, [24] and now Mitel in various roles, including product management and marketing. Currently, he is the Senior Product Marketing Manager for Mitel’s contact center portfolio and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in helping companies achieve an exceptional customer experience.

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